| Abstract|| |
Objective: The intent of this study was to evaluate the effect of plastination on the morphology and structure of stored organs, to find out how much accuracy a plastinated specimen has, and to look into the changes that occurred because of plastination.
Materials and Methods: A human fetus of gestational age 24 weeks was plastinated, and 3D CT scan evaluation of the fetus was done.
Results: The results showed normal, well-defined, clearly identifiable organs, with no alteration in morphology and structure of organs.
Conclusion: In our opinion, plastinated specimens are better way of visualization of morphology and structure of stored organs, which is a useful tool for teaching as well as for research purposes.
Keywords: 3D CT scan (VRT), plastinated fetus, plastination
|How to cite this article:|
Tiwari S, Nandlal B, Shama Sundar N M. Plastinated fetus: 3D CT scan (VRT) evaluation. Indian J Dent Res 2012;23:686-8
Plastination is the process accepted to be the most promising preservation method for educational use in anatomy and related fields. Numerous publications and conferences emphasized its exceptional potential for teaching anatomy and in research. The routine formalin-preserved wet organ dissection specimens have their own drawbacks such as irritating odor, bleached colorless parts not giving a naturalistic idea. The sections are difficult to maintain. The luminal architecture, dimensions, and branching pattern are almost impossible to imagine in a dissection. These drawbacks of wet specimen led to invention of a new technology to teach and learn anatomy, i.e. plastination technique.
|How to cite this URL:|
Tiwari S, Nandlal B, Shama Sundar N M. Plastinated fetus: 3D CT scan (VRT) evaluation. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2012 [cited 2019 Oct 24];23:686-8. Available from: http://www.ijdr.in/text.asp?2012/23/5/686/107411
The technique stemmed from the ground work of Dr. Gunther Von Hagens at University of Heidelberg, Germany, in the year 1978. He began to revolutionize the way in which the human body can be presented to students.  Plastination was introduced in Chinese province of Jiang Su in 1997. In 1978, silicone (s-10) material was used in plastination process. Later, in 1980, epoxy resin (E-12) and, in 1981, polyester (P-40) material were introduced for plastination. Society for plastination was established in 1986 at San Antonio, USA. 
Plastination technique is essentially a vacuum process where all original tissue fluids are slowly extracted and replaced by special curable polymers such as silicone, epoxy, and polyester. This process permits to obtain biological specimen in a completely real, clean, dry, odorless, and durable permanent state. The plastinates are preferred as they are accurate, flexible models, time efficient, nontoxic, non-carcinogenic, require no special care or storage, and can be handled easily. It takes about 2-3 months to transform a cadaver into a full body plastinate.  Fetal material is a good source to study growth, development, and related anomalies. So, preserving the fetal material is of great importance for us.
Thus, this 3D CT scan study was carried out to evaluate the effect of plastination on morphology and structure of organs in a 24-week fetus.
| Materials and Methods|| |
The study includes a human fetus of gestational age 24 weeks, which was plastinated in the Department of Anatomy, JSS Medical College, Mysore. Following plastination, 3D CT [volume rendering technique (VRT)] scan of plastinated fetus was done using 16-slice CT scan machine (Seimens Company,New York, USA) in Animal Research Center, Mysore. Then, the obtained 3D CT scan images were studied and results were withdrawn. All the procedures were carried out following proper infection control protocols.
| Results|| |
The results of these scanogram images gave the following observations.
Asymmetry of plastinated fetus was seen on scanogram because of head tilt. Head and neck region showed normally developed skull with shrunken brain. Orbits, upper jaw, and lower jaw were all clearly seen. A well-defined rib cage, heart, lung, spleen, intestine, upper limb, and parts of lower limb were clearly visible on scanogram. Slight radiolucency around brain and in the region of right hemithorax was seen representing the replaced polymer [Figure 1]. Slight elevation on the right frontoparietal region was observed [Figure 2]. Basal view of the skull in the scanogram showed foramen magnum, posterior cranial fossa with brain, middle cranial fossa, and anterior cranial fossa with vomer bone. There were highly radio-opaque areas representing occipital condyle [Figure 3]. We had also taken 3D VRT images which showed muscle and soft tissue attachments of bone [Figure 4] and [Figure 5].
| Discussion|| |
The intent of this study was to evaluate the effect of plastination on the morphology and structure of stored organs, to find out how much accuracy a plastinated specimen has, and to look into the changes that occurred because of plastination.
Brizzi et al. compared formalin-preserved organs with plastinated ones and stated that plastinated organs presented better preservation of morphology and structure than did those preserved in formalin.  In neuroscience, silicone and polyester resins were used by Weiglein. Silicone rubber is used for whole brains and brain dissections, resulting in natural looking specimen. Polyester resin is used for brain slice, resulting in an excellent distinction between gray and white matter, thus providing the various advantages of plastination in teaching neuroanatomy.  Gilles Grondin et al. studied and found that with an adequate fixation protocol, plastinated specimen can be used for both light microscopy and ultrastructural studies. Deplastination with sodium methoxide permitted production of clean sections. Artifacts produced by plastination/deplastination can be nearly eliminated by glutaraldehyde/formalin fixation. 
In this study, the images of plastinated fetus obtained were examined by two separate examiners to give accurate results. The results showed normal, well-defined, clearly identifiable organs, with no alteration in morphology and structure of organs.
| Conclusion|| |
In our opinion, plastinated specimens are better way of visualization of morphology and structure of stored organs, which is a useful tool for teaching as well as for research purposes. Craniofacial growth, development, and related anomalies of human can be easily studied in a plastinated fetus. Plastinated teeth, soft tissue, bones, and organs are valuable aids in forensic medicine and dentistry. In medicolegal cases, these specimens can be used for accurate identification and preservation of important material. By 3D (VRT) scan, we can evaluate the three-dimensional morphology of organs as well as soft tissue and muscle attachment.
| Acknowledgments|| |
We would like to thank, Dr. Sudhakar Reddy, Dr Ambrish Mishra for all support given
| References|| |
|1.||Jones DG. Re - inventing Anatomy: The Impact of Plastination On How We See Human Body. Clin Anat 2002;15:436-40. |
|2.||Gilles Grondin. Plastination: A modern approach to chiropractic teaching. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 1998; 42(2): 107-112. |
|3.||Bickley HC, Walker AN, Jackson RL, Donner RS. Preservation of pathology specimen by silicone plastination. An innovative adjunct to pathology education. Am J Clin Pathol 1987;88:220-3. |
|4.||Brizzi E, Sgambati E, Capaccioli L, Giurovich E, Montigiani L. A radiological-Anatomical comparision between formalin preserved organs and "plastinated'' ones. Ital J Anat Embryol 1994;99:145-55. |
|5.||Weiglein AH. Plastination in the neurosciences. Keynote lecture. Acta Anat (Basel) 1997;158:6-9. |
|6.||Grondin G, Grondin GG, Talbot BG. A Study of criteria permitting the use of plastinated specimens for light and electron microscopy. Biotech Histochem 1994;69:219-34. |
Department of Paediatric and Preventive Dentistry, JSS Dental College and Hospital, Mysore
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]